"In your company a man could die," I said, "a man could die and you wouldn't even notice, there's no trace of friendship, a man could die in your company."
(Max Frisch (1911-1991), Swiss author, critic. Originally published as Homo faberEin Bericht, Suhrkamp (1957). Homo Faber: A Report, p. 66, trans. by Michael Bullock (1977), Abelard-Schuman (1959).
Walter Faber's drunken critique of modern U.S. society.)
I have heard a good many pretend that they are going to die; or that they have died, for aught that I know. Nonsense! I'll defy them to do it. They have n't got life enough in them.... Only half a dozen or so have died since the world began.
(Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (1859), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 435, Houghton Mifflin (1906).)
(Harriet Tubman (c. 1820-1913), African American escaped slave and abolitionist. As quoted in Harriet, the Moses of Her People, by Sarah Bradford (1869).
Bradford was the friend and first biographer of the great abolitionist and ex-slave who, after escaping to freedom, returned nineteen times to the South and ushered more than 300 other runaway slaves, including her parents and brothers, to freedom in the North. While carrying out these extremely dangerous missions, Tubman carried a revolver. Should one of her charges tire and refuse to go on, she would point it at the runaway's head and say this, knowing that to leave anyone behind would jeopardize her rescue program and could cost many lives.)